Blacksmithing For Beginners – 5 Tips To Get Started

A few weeks ago some of the American Rotary team headed to Indiana to visit Dusty Hicks at his machine shop where we got some insights on machining. While we were there we also met with Richard Hicks in his blacksmith shop where he was also kind enough to take a few moments to share with us his top five tips for those who are starting out in the trade of blacksmithing and are glad to share them with you here.

Recap – Blacksmithing For Beginners:

  1. Get the basic tools. These include a forge, anvil, vice, tongs, and coal. With just these tools you can learn a lot of the basics.
  2. Seek advice from others. Ask questions of other blacksmiths. Find someone that has already bought too many tools and learn the importance of keeping things simple.
  3. Don’t get discouraged. You will make mistakes. Like any other trade, it takes practice and repetition.
  4. Get involved. Find a blacksmithing group or organization that holds meetups or conferences with teachers and demonstrators. By being around others you will be encouraged and learn from each other.
  5. Be safe! There are toxic fumes that come off of galvanized steel. Learn about the materials, steel and coatings you are working with.

13 thoughts on “Blacksmithing For Beginners – 5 Tips To Get Started

  1. Wow that’s great advice. All I have left to get is an anvil. If I can’t find an inexpensive one I am gonna try to make one out of rail road steel

    1. I Made mine from railroad track and welded a hardened plate to the top but if you want harbor freight sells inexpensive ones that work good for someone just stating out and learning

    2. I work in a steelmill and i had the opportunity to make a few. I havent tried any real blacksmithing but it works great for anything i need

    1. Tongs, are I would say are a pretty necessary first couple of builds. I have maybe half dozen tongs I have built, some I even rebuilt for different applications .

  2. The only two things a Blacksmith will go to Hell for, are hammering on cold steel, and not charging enough for his work!

    1. How true, however rolling an edge on armor, uses cold steel mostly. It takes time, and will it build forearm muscles like you won’t believe,lol.
      Rolling an edge strengthens your piece, adds visual interest, and prevents you from cutting yourself on a raw edge

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